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  • Informers and Tattle Tales

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on September 13th, 2017 (All posts by )

    Tattle tale tit,
    Your tongue shall be slit,
    And all the dogs in the town
    Shall have a little bit! – trad. schoolyard taunt

    How bizarre it is to come to a time in these sort-of-United States where certain people who might otherwise have been mistaken for grownups appear to take great pleasure in channeling their inner selves; that of a malicious, sneaky tattle-tale, running to the teacher to inform on their fellow students at every opportunity. We do not — yet — have the equivalent of the East German ‘Stasi’, where half the population eagerly and voluminously informed on the other half. I would have assumed that Americans, young and old, despised tattletales – the adult version every bit as much as the juvenile variety. But we have moved on, it seems. A certain kind of mentality seems bound and determined to sign up as informers even before such volunteers are requested by the authorities in various venues.

    Still, I would have thought that public scorn, derision, and ridicule would at least have kept adult tattle-tales in check. At least, some sense of probity among the authorities whom the adult tattle-tales run to would have kept them from behaving like grade school monitors chastising the kids being tattled upon. But no – this the age of the Twitterified lynch mobs with a penchant for descending upon the luckless, or more usually on the employers of the luckless demanding that the luckless be pink-slipped at once. To their shame, the employers have complied in most of the incidents which make it into public knowledge. Honestly, I wish that employers thus descended on would sack up and say, “Mr. or Ms Soandso is a valued member of our team, and no, we will not request their resignation over what is clearly a misunderstanding/a bit of personal bad luck/an unconsidered word spoken in anger – so go away.” This would have the charm of variety, at least.

    The latest incident of this kind concerns two male friends, professional musicians mildly joshing with each other; one white Brit, one black American. As has been reported, a female bystander took offense at a conversation in which she had no part – and went and tattled to the employer of the white Brit, claiming that he had said a naughty, racist thing to his friend. His contract as conductor of a music festival was cancelled three years early, without any more ado than that. The takeaway from this is that one must be careful now in public spaces, lest one be overheard and tattled upon by officious do-gooders secure in their own conviction of righteous superiority … officious do-gooders such as Lena Dunham, she of the oft-displayed yet unappealing and tatted corpus. Having lately spun a tale of overhearing a conversation between a pair of airline employees and indignantly tattling to their supposed employers in what I can only assume was an attempt to get them fired, MS Dunham is now warning travelers that she is traveling again – and in her words; “…When I’m at the airport, they have to f#cking watch out for me. I hear and see all.” Nice of her to post a warning; I can picture her sitting in the middle of an empty space, as those travelers and airline employees recognizing her get the hell out of earshot, lest she come up with materiel for a fresh tattle.

    What fresh new hell this will create for Americans out in public; I can imagine how quiet we will all become, glumly staring straight ahead at the restaurant menu, at the airline scheduling screen, the trees in the park, the players on the field, and the speakers table at a conference, not daring to say anything save juiceless pleasantries to the person next to us – lest we be overheard and reported for badthink.


    18 Responses to “Informers and Tattle Tales”

    1. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      In Romania with the Securitate, the number of those paid for some little bit of info reached 35% over 20 years. Most of that was just a little, less than once a year, but still.

      Social media is further empowering people with personality disorders, especially Borderline.

      What usually follows in environments of oppression is that people develop an attitude of “may as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb,” and once a line is crossed, become immune to social criticism. Donald Trump seems to be one of those.

    2. pst314 Says:

      Science fiction writer David Brin said (maybe around 1995-2000?) that we should welcome the internet-driven end of privacy. I wonder if he has changed his mind at all.

    3. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Not only is there the matter of “may as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb,” and becoming immune to social criticism; there is a point where if one is believed to be an informer for someone’s political enemies, that the rational response by those who hold such beliefs is such as to make the expected lifespan of the suspected informer and/or their family becomes . . . less than substantial.

      Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln.” War is merely a continuation of Politics by other means.

      The Left in this country has already crossed the line into deadly violence and attempted mass assassination. They are trying to silence all public disagreement with whatever the fashionable Leftist belief is at the moment. The distance remaining to reach the point noted above is not as far as one would think. Especially since the Left while in power here has a record of not regarding the lives of women and children as anything but collateral damage while they are making omelettes.

      It may get quiet in public, for awhile. But we are Americans, not wanna-be European serfs. We do not desire submission like them. And we are not much into giving quarter to those who would have us submit.

    4. Brian Says:

      Pst314: I heard him lecture on that in the 1994-5 timeframe. Thought he was crazy. He did clearly foresee many aspects of our social-media driven world, and how little people actually care about privacy. But he was clearly led astray by his philosophy, I think. In his world, “we” get to watch the watchers, so instead of the government always watching us a la 1984, we get to watch back, so that everyone with cameras gets to see what government figures are doing, all the time. Of course, instead of a techno-libertarian utopia, what this leads to is an army of high-tech Red Guards. Who could have foreseen that? Besides anyone with the slightest grasp of human nature, I mean.

    5. PenGun Says:

      The only things I have hidden are behind a robots.txt. The Dark Web is mine, well maybe a tiny bit. ;)

      It matters if you are vulnerable. That so many are, makes this stuff a real threat. The self righteous can validate themselves by hurting those they do not see as righteous. Nothing at all new, but with universal access, much more disruptive.

    6. Mrs. Davis Says:

      The triumph of the Puritans, without all that inconvenient Christ business.

    7. Korora Says:

      Then there are certain types of speech impediment. If the Reverend Spooner were alive today, then given British hate speech laws and how they’re enforced, it sounds like he’d have no leg to stand on in court the first time he made an unfortunate slip of the tongue.

    8. Gringo Says:

      Mrs. Davis:
      The triumph of the Puritans, without all that inconvenient Christ business.

      Nailed it. You might be interested in reading Joseph Bottum’s book An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America. From the Amazon review:

      America is filled with people frantically seeking confirmation of their own essential goodness. We are a nation desperate to stand on the side of morality–to know that we are righteous and dwell in the light.

      Or so Joseph Bottum argues in An Anxious Age, an account of modern America as a morality tale, formed by its spiritual disturbances. And the cause, he claims, is the most significant and least noticed historical fact of the last fifty years: the collapse of the Mainline Protestant churches that were the source of social consensus and cultural unity. Our dangerous spiritual anxieties, broken loose from the churches that once contained them, now madden everything in American life.
      Looking at the college-educated elite he calls “The Poster Children,” Bottum sees the post-Protestant heirs of the old Mainline Protestant domination of culture: dutiful descendants who claim the high social position of their Christian ancestors even while they reject their ancestors’ Christianity. Turning to “The Swallows of Capistrano,” the Catholics formed by the pontificate of John Paul II, Bottum evaluates the early victories–and later defeats–of the attempt to substitute Catholicism for the dying Mainline voice in public life.

      The secularized descendants of mainline Protestants no longer go to church, but as much as their church-going ancestors, they want to belong to the “elect.” Back then, membership in the “elect” was determined by adherence to church creed. Today, membership in the “elect” is determined by adherence to an ever-changing list of politically correct beliefs- to what we might call a social gospel. Ten years ago, “trans” was barely mentioned. Today, very much so. Ever-changing.

    9. Mrs. Davis Says:

      That should be an interesting read. But the process for the Protestants has been going on for a long time. In 1964 Digby Baltzell wrote “There is a crisis in American leadership in the middle of the twentieth century that is partly due, I think, to the declining authority of an establishment which is now based on an increasingly castelike White-Anglo Saxon-Protestant (WASP) upper class.” The meritocracy became the new aristocracy which has now become castelike and was repudiated by the American people in 2016.

      I was referring less to Protestants in general and focusing on the East Anglian/New England Puritans identified by David Hackett Fischer in Albion’s Seed as the proponents of ordered liberty to create God’s kingdom on earth. Their religion has indeed fallen away. It had by the time Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter. But, as Fischer demonstrated, folkways are persistent, particularly their desire to impose their will on all in furtherance of a perfect world or to cast out those who refuse to obey. Their conception of that perfect world is truly ever changing. But never their intolerance to those who choose not to pursue it.

    10. David Foster Says:

      In the movie ‘Gettysburg’, a British officer is observing the battle. He remarks that the two sides have a common history, but different dreams.

      It strikes me that today’s ‘progressives’ have a dream that draws on both that of the Confederacy…government by an aristocracy, disdain for most kinds of work….and that of the New England elite…the pleasures of a lecturing, scolding sense of moral superiority.

    11. rc Says:

      This incident reminds me of the time I worked at A Big Company circa 1993 where a male and female employee workers were engaging in a conversation. A third party somewhere within earshot, but perhaps not within view of the two participants, was offended by something the had male said. Third party non-participant ‘easily offended’ complained to management. Even though neither party in the conversation was aggrieved, the male was fired because the bystander was offended by what the male had said.

    12. Margaret Says:

      So, the worst of both worlds, David?

    13. pst314 Says:

      It strikes me that today’s ‘progressives’ have a dream that draws on both that of the Confederacy…government by an aristocracy, disdain for most kinds of work….and that of the New England elite…the pleasures of a lecturing, scolding sense of moral superiority.


    14. Sgt. Mom Says:

      It’s becoming an absolute PITA, knowing that in any public area, some busy-body with an inflated sense of their own importance can feel perfectly free to go to some authority and complain about an overheard conversation, and that it can cost someone their employment, just as Rc related.
      I’m a story-teller and insatiably curious about things that I hear and observe out in the public – and yes, I eavesdrop all the time, for my own amusement. (I also look at the groceries that people in the checkout line ahead of me are buying, and try and deduce what kind of people they are from what they are buying.) These neo-puritans are ruining my fun, at the very least. Like Lena Dunham, they are disgusting excuses for human beings.

    15. Faith2014 Says:

      Leftists ruin everything, all the time.

    16. Gringo Says:

      MS Dunham is now warning travelers that she is traveling again – and in her words; “…When I’m at the airport, they have to f#cking watch out for me. I hear and see all.” Nice of her to post a warning; I can picture her sitting in the middle of an empty space, as those travelers and airline employees recognizing her get the hell out of earshot, lest she come up with materiel for a fresh tattle.

      Lena Dunham has done some things which I doubt she would like to be publicly confronted about. Such as false accusation[s] of rape.Lena Dunham breaks silence to say she gave her rapist a pseudonym to protect HIM as she apologizes to man falsely identified as her attacker.

      Lena Dunham used her book to describe how ‘Barry’, a ‘flamboyant Republican’, raped her at Oberlin College.
      After the book was published this fall, some publications fact-checked Dunham’s account and found a man with the same name and descriptions.
      That man said he never even met Dunham at school.
      Dunham has now written an essay for Buzzfeed, saying she changed the name of her attacker and never meant to identify him.
      She also apologized to an Oberlin alumnus named Barry, who Breitbart and National Review said matched the rapist’s description.

      Other material in her book. Would she like to be subjected to a public shaming campaign, where people would follow her about, shouting about her various transgressions?

      It seems to me that Lena Dunham is an attention hog. The best way to treat her might be to cut off media attention. Unfortunately, media would likely not cooperate.

    17. Gringo Says:

      Lena Dunham would provide a rich target, as she has a habit of putting her foot in her mouth.Bing Search Term: Lena Dunham Apologizes. Over a million hits.

    18. David Foster Says:

      Margaret…”so, the worst of both worlds, David?”

      Pretty much.

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